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The Madsen Machine Gun is a Danish machine gun created in 1902 by Julius A. Rasmussen and Theodor Schoubue and proposed for adoption by the Captain Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen. Was the first light machinegun created in big numbers, it was used by the Germans in the First and in the Second World War, it is actually used only by the Rio de Janeiro Military Police that considers her a reliable and effective weapon and by some reason consider them more effective than most of modern machineguns.

Madsen Muskette

Operational Use[]

World War I[]

The Madsen was first used in combat during the Russo-Japanese War, in the hands of the Russian Army, which had purchased 1,200 copies of the weapon. During the First World War, the German Army used a version chambered in the 7.92 mm caliber to pitch their companies of infantry, mountain troops and storm troopers. It was considered an expensive weapon to produce, but extremely reliable. It was sold to 34 countries in versions of about a dozen different gauges.

Interwar Period[]

The gun was purchased by the Paraguayans between the years 1920 and 1930 where they were arming themselves to start a war against the Bolivian forces to take the region of Gran Chaco, in what became known as the Chaco War (1932-1935). At the beginning of the war some 400 of these guns were in the Paraguayan hands, more acquired during their course. At this time Brazil have been purchased by about 23 Tankettes CV-35 in Italy in the 1930s, and most of them armed with guns Madsens pairs of 7mm.

World War II[]

At the beginning of World War II Madsen machine gun was still in service in various armies. In 1940 the Norwegian Army used the 3500 m/22 variant chambered in 6.5x55mm in defending their country against the German invasion.

At that time formed the first squadron was equipped primarily Norwegian with Madsen machine guns, and some time later incorporated in other squadrons. Were formed several battalions and one each had 36 Madsens and nine M/29 heavy machineguns. Yet it was not considered an ideal weapon for Norwegian soldiers because jam after a few shots, and thus earned the nickname Jomfru Madsen (in English: Virgin Madsen).

Captured Madsens were used by units of the second German line throughout the war. They were also the standard machine gun of the Dutch East Indies Army, some

Two Portuguese soldiers of the 4th Special Hunter Company manning a Madsen Machine gun

captured madsens were used by the Japanese Imperial Army

Portuguese Colonial War[]

The Madsen light machine guns was one of the standard machine guns of the Portuguese Army, which acquired two lots, one in 1930 and another in 1941. These weapons were still in service in the early 1960s, being used in combat during the first years of the Colonial War. The machine gun was the main employment use as a temporary arms armored fighting vehicles, machine gun-Daimler Auto 4 × 4 Mod.F/64, being used in Daimler Dingo who had changed the structure above where it was mounted on a structure that allowed the coupling of the machine gun.

Use in Brazil[]

The Madsen machinegun is often used in clashes with drug traffickers by the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro. Some of these weapons used by the Brazilian police forces were captured by traffickers and put into service to fight them, many of these are antique guns coming from the Argentine Army and others were stolen from museums. But most Madsens used by Brazilian police is coming from the Brazilian Army. These weapons are converted to .30 cal to 7.62mm NATO.

Official sources of the Brazilian Army realize that the Madsen machine guns were withdrawn from service in 1996. Already in the police forces, the weapons were being replaced gradually from the beginning of 2008 for most modern weapons and with greater firepower, being the latest Madsens removed from service in April of 2008. However, there are photographs taken on October 19 of 2009 in fighting between police and drug dealers who show that the gun is still used.


  • Argentina
  • Brazil: C

    BOPE policemen posing with a Madsen Muskette

    onsidered so reliable that was used by the army until 1996, currently used by the BOPE special forces
  • Chile
  • Denmark
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • German Empire
  • Nazi Germany
  • Ireland
  • Empire of Japan
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Paraguay
  • Portugal
  • Russian Empire
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand


  • Length: 117 cm
  • Weight: 9.98 kg
  • Caliber: 6.5x55mm
  • Rifling: 4 lanes
  • Charger: 30 cartridges
  • Cadence: 400 rounds per minute
  • Initial velocity of the projectile: 824 m / s
  • Maximum range: 2,000 m

See also[]

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